Sydney Thunder received a massive blow for in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) season after their spinner Chris Green was banned from bowling for three months due to an illegal bowling action. He was pulled up during the Thunder’s loss to the Melbourne Stars last week and underwent testing on his action in Brisbane on Sunday. The results from the test showed that Green’s action is illegal and therefore he has been suspended from bowling for a period of 90 days in all Cricket Australia-run competitions, effectively ending his current BBL season.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Cricket Australian (CA) Head of Cricket Operations Peter Roach commended Green and the Thunder for approaching this process with complete cooperation and respect. He added that Green undertook testing at the earliest possible time and satisfactorily replicated his bowling action in the controlled environment. The board is looking forward to working with Green in the coming months and conducting further tests once his suspension period elapses. The 26-year-old can still be picked as a batter for the Thunder and also allowed to bowl in grade cricket for his Sydney club side under supervision and consent of Cricket NSW. Green was due to play for the Thunder in Wednesday's match against the Stars in Melbourne, but he has been withdrawn from their squad.
Chris Green has been a vital part of the Thunder side for many years and recently signed a six-season deal with the Sydney club, which is the longest for any player in the tournament's history. His economy rate and strike rate are said to be the reasons that attracted Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to sign him up for Rs. 2 crore for the IPL 2020 season.
Green not bowling in a competitive match could be an issue for KKR. However, he is not the first Thunder bowler who has been banned from bowling in the BBL. 12 months ago, his teammate Arjun Nair was also banned for three months due to a suspect bowling action. After Nair was cleared of action, he returned to Big Bash cricket. Nair is now expected to take on a major spin role at the Thunder for the rest of the season in Green’s absence.
Since Green's bowling ban applies only applies to Cricket Australia-sanctioned competitions, he will still be available to play in this year's Indian Premier League, which starts in late March, after he was bought at the recent player auction by Kolkata Knight Riders.